Week Ending September 25, 2015


  •  Spoke with the staff of the Director of Admissions, Carol McAllister, as well as to their students that lead the campus tours to let them know about the great efforts underway in our college.  It was also to dispel some confusing elements about our college being impacted and class availability that often discourage prospective students from applying.
  • There is a very large concern about time-to-graduation, both on the part of incoming students and parents, as well as across our University.  Though I think it is an important element, I place continuation and placement rates as higher priorities in my efforts for the following simple reason: Most of our students work while going to college and we can’t expect them to graduate in four years.  The variables we control that do influence time-to-graduation are (a) good advising and (b) availability of classes.
  •  I finished rounds of speaking to all of the North County City Council Meetings this week (Escondido, San Marcos, Poway, Vista, etc.) as a way of re-introducing myself, our college and its programs to them.  As part of those meetings, I offered to give campus tours to the mayors and city council members, so you may see me leading more campus tours.
  • Re-engagement and meetings with San Diego North Economic Development Council and San Diego North Chamber of Commerce.
  • Participated in Sunday’s comprehensive fundraising campaign, Forward Together: The Campaign for California State University San Marcos, an ambitious effort to raise $50 million to support students, community engagement initiatives, research and other programs. The silent phase raised $26 million.


Celebration of Successes:

Crash the Cougar_Taste For Student Success_Alumni

Group Photo_Tastings

  • Just prior to the TFSS event, we had 85+ alumni join the Alumni Reception, an increase of 50% over last year (photo below).

Alumni Gathering_Smiles_Laughing

  • Last evening we held a Professional Networking Night at Stone Brewing for the 2014 and 2015 cohorts in our Fully-Employed MBA Program.  Stone is always a gracious and generous host!
  • We invite nearly 2,000 professionals to our campus a year.  I am proud of our classrooms and lobby, hence my efforts to keep them a highlight of their visit.  To that end, we have largely “improved” the first floor bathrooms and when one of the classes damaged our MARK 125 entryway, we appealed to them and then brought in our good friend Elijah Pauser to re-paint the affected areas, as well as the main area of the lobby.  Elijah takes great pride in maintaining our lobby so please thank him when you see him!  And please join me in asking students to care for our building.

Left: Elijah Top Right: Wall/door damage Bottom Right: Wall repairedwallPaintedWithElijah

Alumnus Highlight:

January Arena (formerly January Carranza Gonzalez) is a 2007 CoBA graduate who now co-owns Sea Breeze Janitorial in Vista. Sea Breeze Janitorial is a full-service commercial and executive janitorial provider with fifteen years of experience.  Remember that name and this face: January Arena.


Week Ending September 18, 2015


  •  It is not too late to purchase your tickets for our Taste for Student Success event tomorrow (Alumni Reception at 2 PM, event from 3-6 PM in Markstein Plaza).
  • Mohammad, Janet, and I are working diligently to set up reserve funds from EL-generated revenues in a manner that permits our college to invest properly for the future.
  • I am working closely with Advancement, and the other colleges (notably CSM, CEHHS, and CHABBS) as well as future efforts with the Library to create cooperative multi-disciplinary initiatives that benefit our students as well as help achieve our strategic goals #5 (deepen collaboration with business, education, government and community organizations and #6 (enhance perceptions and increase awareness about CoBA).
  • I enjoyed meeting and speaking to all the new pre-business freshmen in Nubia, Jeff, and Geri Bennett’s GEL101 classes.

Celebration of Successes:

  • The undergraduate Professional Mentoring Kickoff held at, and generously sponsored by, Stone Brewing Company was a real success, thanks to our engaged professional mentors, excited students meeting their mentors for the first time, and Program champions Carrie Smith and CoBA Board Member Emilie Hersh (event photo below).KickOffImg04
  •   Successful Student Meet and Greet dual events Tuesday (faculty) and Thursday (student organizations) were an effort to allocate more time to both faculty and student organizations rather than holding both during a single day. (photos below)


Alumnus Highlight:

Allen Bassett is a 2012 CoBA graduate and President of New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company.  Allen was the sponsor and team lead on his spring 2012 Senior Experience project for New Mexico Piñon Coffee Company. One of Allen’s recent accomplishments is successfully marketing his product and getting distribution into Trader Joe’s and Costco stores, difficult negotiations at best.  Allen was recently highlighted in an online review.  Remember that name and this face: Allen Bassett.


Week Ending September 11, 2015



  • Enjoyed teaching a Saturday FEMBA Workshop on All Methods of Funding a Startup and Lean Startups.  Yes, I can still teach.
  • It is not too late to purchase your discounted tickets to our Taste for Student Success.  Reduced price tickets for our event through LivingSocial ends tomorrow, you can get your tickets here.  Regular priced (or Non-discounted) tickets are available on the main site after this Saturday.

Celebrations of Success:

  • Week two of classes: Isn’t it wonderful to have fresh new faculty faces around?
  • Faculty Incentive – Popular Press Quote or Articles: Vassilis is leading the pack this week with references in three separate articles, followed by Camille Schuster.  To remind faculty, to participate:
    1. If you have not done so, add you name and area of subject-matter-expertise to the CSUSM Experts Directory.
    2. When notified by someone from Communications staff about a news inquiry, please follow up promptly as most writers are on a publication deadline.
    3. Once published, send me an email with a link to the article or story.

Alumnus Highlight:

Michael Betancourt is a CoBA 2014 graduate that served in the US Marine Corps from 2004-2012. Michael was also the recipient of the 2014 James R. Meindl Student Leadership Award, and the Tukwut Leadership Certificate for campus engagement and community service.  He currently serves as the Regional Director, Vet-Tech Startup Accelerator, the nation’s leading entrepreneurship training center for military veterans. The mission is to transform the lives of Veterans by empowering them to build successful companies.  Michael also serves as a financial counselor for Operation Homefront and mentor for Encuentros Leadership.  Remember that name and this face: Michael Betancourt.


Week Ending September 4, 2015


  • I attended and presented briefly at this week’s CSUSM Foundation Board Meeting, one of several new interdisciplinary initiatives with other deans/directors in support of the Comprehensive Campaign.
  • Lots of event sponsorship dollars acquired this summer, thanks to the efforts of Kelly Briggs in Advancement.  Kelly and I are working closely together on the Campaign.
  • Please welcome Paige Pickler, our new marketing student assistant, who will be helping with the promotion of our very large number of events this fall.  We are planning to hire an additional student assistant writer to draft more complete stories of faculty, students, staff, and alumni for broader publication.
  • Efforts are underway to define new faculty and staff hires to accomplish some of the great opportunities we face.

Celebrations of Success:

Alumnus Highlight:
Ben Fairweather is the founder and president of Palomar Brewing Co. in Carlsbad.  He recently received a conditional use permit to allow a tasting room, set to open very soon on Loker Avenue West.  Remember that name and this face: Ben Fairweather.